Volume 3 Number 28
July 10, 2006

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RECORD NUMBER OF FLORIDIANS USING SAFETY BELTS

New study shows four out of five Floridians are buckling up-

Governor Jeb Bush announced that a record number of Floridians are using safety belts. The Preusser Research Group recently reported that 80.7 percent of drivers and their front seat passengers are using safety belts on Florida highways. Overall, safety belt usage rates in Florida have climbed more than 20 percent since 2000.

“A vast majority of Floridians are using safety belts,” said Governor Bush. “Wearing a safety belt saves lives. It is the single most effective way to prevent injuries and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes."

The official rate of 80.7 percent was determined by observing safety belt usage at various intersections throughout Florida from June 2 to 9, 2006. The sample of intersections was selected based on the established criteria of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This official survey took place after the Memorial Day statewide “Click It or Ticket” campaign as required by NHTSA.

“We attribute this success to the partnerships we have made with law enforcement agencies, the media and local traffic safety advocates to encourage citizens and visitors to wear safety belts,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Denver Stutler. “This initiative is about more than traffic citations and commercials. It is about saving lives on Florida’s highways.”

Throughout the three-week “Click It or Ticket” enforcement campaign, local and state law enforcement agencies issued more than 46,000 safety belt and child restraint citations. Although safety belt usage was the primary focus of this effort, law enforcement officers reported more than 160,000 incidents, ranging from impaired and reckless driving citations to felony arrests and stolen vehicle recovery.

“The fact that more Floridians are buckling up will no doubt save lives and prevent injuries – something our troopers and law enforcement partners strive to achieve every day,” said FHP Director Colonel Christopher Knight.

For more information on Florida’s “Click It or Ticket” safety belt campaign, please visit www.clickitfla.com.